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Texas lawmakers pass 'historic' legislation to help Public Education System

Posted at 5:49 PM, Jul 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-10 19:32:32-04

Thanks to Texas lawmakers, changes are coming to the Texas Public Education System.

The new legislation will increase public education funding by 6.5 billion dollars.

"We stand coming out of the most recent legislative session where a historic piece of legislation was passed,” Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath said. "But it's not just money, it is structural reforms targeted in ways that we know will deliver improvement in outcomes in learning for kids."

Commissioner Morath addressed a room full of Central Texas Educators at an Educational Summit Wednesday.

The commissioner praised the new legislation, making note of one of the biggest accomplishments, which he said was pay raises for teachers.

"They created a focus so that the highest performing educators will have access to a 6-figure salary,” Morath said.

House Bill 3 requires districts to allocate 30 percent of their yearly budget toward full-time employees, increasing the minimum salary schedule anywhere from $5,500 to $9,000.

The commissioner said this adjustment will forever change the current views of the education pay structure.

"What you will typically find is an unmistakably clear message which is 'If you wish to get ahead professionally, get as far away from the classroom as possible,' but not anymore, not because of the actions of the Texas Legislature, how they have restructured the support for compensation for teachers,” Morath said.

The legislature has also created an optional funding incentive for school districts, allocating money for any district that chooses to continue instructional time beyond the mandated 180 days.

"Sometimes, when they go to school, it is an educational oasis and when they get home from school it is an educational dessert. So, what has the legislature done? They have created an optional funding incentive for local school districts. if you want to give your kids the gift of time, now money has arrived for you to do that up to 210 days of instruction in elementary school,” Morath said.

Under the new law, any child above the age of 4 will also be required to attend Pre-K.

HB3 will also help with tax relief, providing 5.1-billion-dollars to lower school district tax rates.

For more information on how the new law will impact Texas schools, click here.